in the preceding discussion, some of the criteria do not appear to be independent of others and some criteria appear unlikely to discriminate among the process alternatives.

The use of the criteria to reach a final decision relies on a methodology that is still evolving. The weighting factors have not yet been decided, and these may need to be adjusted in consideration of the points raised in the previous section about overlap of some criteria or the concepts of go/no go gates and thresholds. In the application of the algorithm to the process alternatives described to the committee there was little discrimination among the alternatives. There was little difference among the total scores, and the ranking appeared to be dependent upon the weighting factors employed. This raises the question of whether the algorithm is capable of providing adequate discrimination among the alternatives. Is it possible that high scores for certain criteria could obscure serious problems in other criteria?

Recommendation: The committee recommends that the criteria should not be implemented in a way that relies on a single numerical “total score.” Rather than averaging and totaling the scores for each criterion, the various criteria should be seen as relevant to different goals and purposes and should be considered individually. Some of the criteria should be used as “go/no go” gates and some should have thresholds for use.

Despite limitations in discriminating among the alternatives, the committee recognizes that R&D progress for the several alternative processes may result in changes in the respective scores on the eleven criteria.

Finding: The committee finds that the current scoring system for individual criteria can be useful for identifying and following the progress of research and development program prior to a final downselection. This could assist in determining where significant further effort is needed for each process.

The final selection of a process for treating the SRS high-level waste will be a management decision. The final decision rests with the Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management and will be made on the basis of documentation related to the eleven criteria discussed here. The committee believes that the proposed criteria can provide adequate information for making a risk-informed decision evaluating the science, technology, operational aspects, time factors, costs, and policy matters. As indicated in the preceding comments on the criteria, some issues—for, example, life-cycle costs—do not match well with the federal procedure for allocating funds. This would not be the case for a privatized operation, and if a contractor were responsible for costs it might be necessary for them to be involved formally in the decision-making procedure.

REFERENCES CITED

Harmon, H.D. 2000a (September 15). Viewgraphs entitled Salt Processing Project: Bases for Scoring of Alternative Cesium Removal Processes on August 14-15, 2000 ; Recorded by



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EVALUATION OF CRITERIA FOR SELECTING A SALT PROCESSING ALTERNATIVE FOR HIGH-LEVEL WASTE AT THE SAVANNAH RIVER SITE: INTERIM REPORT in the preceding discussion, some of the criteria do not appear to be independent of others and some criteria appear unlikely to discriminate among the process alternatives. The use of the criteria to reach a final decision relies on a methodology that is still evolving. The weighting factors have not yet been decided, and these may need to be adjusted in consideration of the points raised in the previous section about overlap of some criteria or the concepts of go/no go gates and thresholds. In the application of the algorithm to the process alternatives described to the committee there was little discrimination among the alternatives. There was little difference among the total scores, and the ranking appeared to be dependent upon the weighting factors employed. This raises the question of whether the algorithm is capable of providing adequate discrimination among the alternatives. Is it possible that high scores for certain criteria could obscure serious problems in other criteria? Recommendation: The committee recommends that the criteria should not be implemented in a way that relies on a single numerical “total score.” Rather than averaging and totaling the scores for each criterion, the various criteria should be seen as relevant to different goals and purposes and should be considered individually. Some of the criteria should be used as “go/no go” gates and some should have thresholds for use. Despite limitations in discriminating among the alternatives, the committee recognizes that R&D progress for the several alternative processes may result in changes in the respective scores on the eleven criteria. Finding: The committee finds that the current scoring system for individual criteria can be useful for identifying and following the progress of research and development program prior to a final downselection. This could assist in determining where significant further effort is needed for each process. The final selection of a process for treating the SRS high-level waste will be a management decision. The final decision rests with the Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management and will be made on the basis of documentation related to the eleven criteria discussed here. The committee believes that the proposed criteria can provide adequate information for making a risk-informed decision evaluating the science, technology, operational aspects, time factors, costs, and policy matters. As indicated in the preceding comments on the criteria, some issues—for, example, life-cycle costs—do not match well with the federal procedure for allocating funds. This would not be the case for a privatized operation, and if a contractor were responsible for costs it might be necessary for them to be involved formally in the decision-making procedure. REFERENCES CITED Harmon, H.D. 2000a (September 15). Viewgraphs entitled Salt Processing Project: Bases for Scoring of Alternative Cesium Removal Processes on August 14-15, 2000 ; Recorded by

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EVALUATION OF CRITERIA FOR SELECTING A SALT PROCESSING ALTERNATIVE FOR HIGH-LEVEL WASTE AT THE SAVANNAH RIVER SITE: INTERIM REPORT The Tanks Focus Area for the Technical Working Group. U.S. Department of Energy Tanks Focus Area. 38pp. Harmon, H.D. 2000b (November 20). Viewgraphs entitled Salt Processing Project Down-Selection Criteria.U.S. Department of Energy Tanks Focus Area. 24pp. National Research Council. 2000. Alternatives for High-Level Waste Salt Processing at the Savannah River Site. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 142pp.